15 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The demand for the restoration of services to Monaghan General Hospital was one of the first issues on which new Health Minister James Reilly was questioned during his first Question time in the Dáil on Tuesday. Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin used his ‘priority question’ to the new Minister to call for the restoration of the axed hospital services.
The Minister for Health admitted that “a good deal more can be done at Monaghan” and stated that “smaller county hospitals have been under-utilised to date”. However, he stopped short of committing to the restoration of services, Deputy Ó Caoláin told The Northern Standard.
He said “This is the first opportunity I have had to address the new Minister for Health on the issues of concern to us all. I wish him well in his new role and responsibilities.
“It is no coincidence that I have chosen as the subject of my very first priority question to him the hospital I know best, the one that was chosen to act as a blueprint for the last government’s decimation of local services at local hospital sites. What happened to Monaghan General Hospital was a template that was subsequently visited on other hospitals and communities around the country.
“The Minister will recall that his party colleague, former Deputy Seymour Crawford and I were consistent voices not only in support of the retention of services at Monaghan General Hospital, but post their removal, the restoration of those services. I want to acknowledge his voice in this respect.
“Will the Minister now make a commitment at the commencement of this Dáil to revisit the failed hospital configuration in the North East, specifically in relation to Monaghan Hospital while also recognising the impact of the loss of services at both the Louth Hospital in Dundalk and Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan?
“Will he restore all acute medical and emergency services to Monaghan General Hospital as was the unanimous call in March of all elected members of Monaghan County Council, including the Minister’s party colleagues? Will he undertake today, in the first opportunity open to him in questions to the Minister for Health to give a clear commitment to the restoration of those services?
“Will he indicate his willingness to prioritise the restoration of an Emergency Department, and the establishment of a Medical Assessment Unit at Monaghan General Hospital?”

Full story in The Northern Standard

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